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Posted at 12:17 AM ET, 12/12/2010

Caps show 'a lot of work ethic,' but slide hits five

By Katie Carrera

Washington's 3-2 loss to Colorado tonight marked the first time under Coach Bruce Boudreau the Capitals have lost five straight games. They've now lost four games in regulation at Verizon Center (12-4-2 overall at home); in the 2009-10 campaign they only lost five times in regulation at home.

Regardless of all that, though, to a man the Capitals were much more pleased with their effort against the Avalanche than any of the four previous games. It wasn't an error-free contest -- see the mistakes that led to each of the Colorado goals -- but as Boudreau said, "That looked more like our team tonight."

"There was more desperation in our game tonight," said Matt Hendricks, who Boudreau dubbed the Capitals' best player against his former squad. "We know how much skill we have, but we showed a lot of work ethic tonight and a lot of drive and we didn't stop. I know this team last year had a lot of come-from-behind victories and I saw that team tonight, which is a step in the right direction."

Hendricks's goal, his fourth of the season, came in the midst of a third period played almost entirely in the Colorado zone. On a power play thanks to a slashing call on former Cap Tomas Fleischmann, Nicklas Backstrom chipped the puck back into the zone from the blue line and it popped up into the air.

Mike Knuble caught it and tried to take a shot, but the puck ricocheted off a Colorado player right to Hendricks, who backhanded the puck between his legs with his back to the net to make it 3-2. Despite more buzz that followed, the Capitals couldn't manage to tie the contest. They took 42 shots on goal and had another 42 attempts that didn't reach the target.

But unlike in other recent games, many more of those shots came from close in around the net. It's not much when stuck in a slump like this, but it's progress.

"You don't just come out and [all of a sudden] things are playing well again," Knuble said. "When you fall into these ruts, it's a slow fall into the rut and it's a slow climb out. So you want to make some steps in a positive direction. I thought we fought pretty hard and deserved a little bit better tonight and that's like the first time that we can say that."

The Capitals have the chance to try and duplicate the effort in search of a better result tonight at 7 p.m. at Madison Square Garden against the Rangers, but they need to do all the little things well once again.

"I hope guys don't think that, 'Okay I did all of this stuff -- I went to the net and I did all of that stuff and I didn't score, so that can't be right,'" Boudreau said. "They've got to continue doing it. Matt Hendricks went to the net three or four times, and he got rewarded with a goal. He probably scored another one, but the view didn't allow it to be seen."

--In the first game since Nov. 7, 2009 that they've played without both Jeff Schultz (broken thumb) and Mike Green (flu), the Capitals looked to their young defensive pairing to carry the load. John Carlson led all skaters with 26:01 of ice time while Karl Alzner played 18:34.

--Knuble scored the 250th goal of his career when he knocked home a rebound from Alex Ovechkin's shot in the first period to tie the game, 1-1.

--Michal Neuvirth didn't look his usual calm self early on in the contest, but particularly on the first goal Boudreau defended the 22-year-old's performance.

"The first goal was tipped, in his defense. It looked like a real bad goal, but I'm sure Michal saw the guy going to the far post, which is where the pass was tried, so he opened his leg doing the split and it was redirected in there," Boudreau said. "He battled. I knew he was mad after the first period, but he battled and that's what good goalies do."

--The Capitals won't have a morning skate at Madison Square Garden, where the Knicks are playing a game at noon.

By Katie Carrera  | December 12, 2010; 12:17 AM ET
Categories:  Colorado Avalanche, Matt Hendricks, Michal Neuvirth, Mike Knuble  
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Next: Alexander Semin fined for cross check

Comments

@Tom. I thought the rule with juniors was that they could not go to the AHL until the team was done with the season but could come to the NHL. I know there were several players up from the CHL at the start of the season and teams had until the players 9th game to decide if they were going to keep them up. Is there some part of the rule that says the ability to call them up ends at a certain date that I do not know about? If not I think it is actually possible to call up Eakin. As for if he should be called up there is a BIG difference between juniors and the NHL so him getting 100 goals in juniors is not that big of an indicator of if he will do well in the NHL. Flash had over 50 goals in 2 seasons Eakin is in his 4th full season so pace wise he is at Flash's level. Didn't everyone just want to get rid of Flash?

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 12, 2010 1:18 AM | Report abuse

ice: I answered on the other thread.

Oh, great, Knicks are playing at noon. More crappy ice. More ruts and more chance for injury. The NHLPA needs to stand up at next CBA and insist on the follwing provision to the terms and conditions:

"At no time will an NHL game be scheduled to commence, in an arena, within 12 hours of the scheduled conclusion of any other sporting contest."

There you go, NHLPA, no reason to hire a fancy lawyer with coat and tie to write your clauses, tominsocal1 just did it for you for free.

Posted by: tominsocal1 | December 12, 2010 1:45 AM | Report abuse

Tom: I must not have read that thread. I thought the rule was as covered here http://prospectsannex.blogspot.com/2010/04/nhlchl-agreement-why-juniors-have-to-be.html. What about it is wrong?

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 12, 2010 1:54 AM | Report abuse

Bruce won't even hit them with the optional practice. It's no practice now. we to settlefor a lose there coach. Until Ted wakes up and see's that it is GMGM and Bruce, we'll deal with this garbage.

I know Ted, I know, we have 11 first rounders on this team (Can you beleive your GM selected Boyd Gordon and Eric Fehr in the 1st round?) your coach won a Jack Adams and your team won the Presidents Trophy (You're also 1-3 in game 7s all at home).

Wake up dude. I won't be renewing my season tickets. You upped them 32% this year, but I get the same garbage on the ice. Ted, fans are slowly walking away. Last year, tickets would sell guick on the ticket exchange, this year (I haven't gone to one game and don't plan on giving you any more money) I haven't been able to sell one. The economy?? Our the same old product you continue to ice?

Our hopes are pinned on 2 rookie d-men, 2 rookie goalies, a second line center that was a 19 YO who never played one North American game of hockey (was a healthy scratch tonight). Thanks Ted.

Washington sports, home of the worst owners in sports. I know, I know the Caps have been to the playoffs and have done squat. Our great owner choked a fan, has to blog after every game and has thin skin. Rrad his blog, Teds Take. It's pathetic

Posted by: themightyzep2000 | December 12, 2010 2:43 AM | Report abuse

^ ^ ^

The truth! It starts at the top, from Ted down to GMGM.

Posted by: chrisclarksucks | December 12, 2010 2:58 AM | Report abuse

Is it just me or have the past 2 games reminded you of the Montreal series? According to these notes above the Caps attempted 84 shots, landing 42 on net, yet only scored 2. The previous game, we made Vokoun look unreal, and our powerplay dissapeared.

This team looks like a rebuilding team. Guys like Fehr, Bradley, Erskine, Steckel, Gordon, are all Matt Pettinger-like. If they leave the Caps they'll likely battle for 3rd-4th line minutes somewhere before they fizzle out.

Yeah sure, it's been fun as hell to watch this team beat up on the Southeast for the past 2 years. And hell, they'll probably beat up on them some more this year. But honestly, this gimmick is getting old.

Posted by: chrisclarksucks | December 12, 2010 3:07 AM | Report abuse

@themightyzep. You don't think the economy hurts look at the stands at a Red Wings game. As for no practice tomorrow when would they have it? They are either leaving very late tonight or tomorrow morning and have a game at night. If you are traveling overnight you have to let the players sleep during the day and if they are leaving in the morning they will be on a plane during the usual practice time. So when would they practice? Not only that but they can't practice at MSG like the away team normally would have the option to because of the Knicks so how is that Ted's or GMGM's or BB's fault? Also about having 2 rookies on D, one at center and two in goal, Varly is hardly a rookie and even Neuvy has played a fair amount coming into this season. Alzner is not considered a rookie either. Part of the reason why the team is so young is because of the salery cap. Yes, we could have replaced one maybe two of those players and been right up against the cap and if people got hurt for a game or two you would have to play short like NJ did early or put players on the LTIR and eat into the bonus cousion and have even less space for next season. You think Detroit a team that in their history has gone out and gotten high priced Free Agent goalies like CoJo, Hasek, and others would have gone into last year with an aging Osgood and a rookie if they could spend whatever they want? The NHL is different then it was before the lockout because of the cap and many teams have several rookies on the team to help make up for the high priced players.

@chrisclarksucks. The players you mentioned as being ones who would "likely battle for 3rd-4th line minutes somewhere" are only getting 3rd-4th line minutes here and in the case of every one of them are being scratched from time to time. Not like when Pettinger was on the team getting 1st and 2nd line minutes. If our normal lines had any of those guys on the top or second lines (with the exception of Fehr because when he is playing well can be a good in front of the net player) then I will agree we are in a rebuilding phase.

We have struggled the last couple games and everyone is picking at every little thread. I understand every city does it when their team is losing. Just go back and look at posts from early in the season on Pittsburgh sites saying their should trade MA Flurey. Just like they have we will turn it around in the next few games and people will still remember the big issues on the team but all of these little nit pick issues will go away. Are we the best team in the NHL? No. But we are a team where if we get hot at the right time can be very, very dangerous. Everyone says playoff hockey is different but it isn't that much. Last year we struggled just like we have in the last two weeks. That is why these last few games have seemed so similar they have been. It didn't matter that it was in the playoffs last year we got cold and couldn't score. Last year it happened at the worst time. This year it isn't.

Posted by: icehammer97 | December 12, 2010 4:14 AM | Report abuse

I have a feeling OVI is going to score three tomorrow or at least a three point night. He looked like the old OVI for once this year. Stronger with the puck, hitting guys and down right intense. His best game of the year. Caps will win this one 6-2.

Posted by: pkme | December 12, 2010 5:45 AM | Report abuse

Excellent, excellent post, Icehammer97.

And I agree, pkme, that Ovi looked great last night. I don't think any other player could have held on to the puck the way he did for the first assist to Knuble's goal. #8 showed his unique puck handling ability last night.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | December 12, 2010 7:00 AM | Report abuse

Is sgm3 in hiding? Maybe he overdosed on kool-aid.

This team is lost.

Posted by: underpants2 | December 12, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

We have struggled the last couple games and everyone is picking at every little thread. I understand every city does it when their team is losing. Just go back and look at posts from early in the season on Pittsburgh sites saying their should trade MA Flurey. Just like they have we will turn it around in the next few games.
------------------------------------------

1. The difference is the Pens have proven what they can do in the playoffs and this team has NOT.

2. The Pens can win their share of 2-1 and 1-0 games and this team cannot. This isn't just about this particular losing streak. It just bolsters the argument by those who believe that the team as presently constructed is NOT one that will be playing in May or June.

Posted by: joek443 | December 12, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

3. Some of us have never believed that they play the right way even when they were on a long winning streak during the season. So we sure AIN'T gonna buy into the "this is just a slump" argument.

Posted by: joek443 | December 12, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Please, move Semin.

Posted by: underpants2 | December 12, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

While the Caps are in a slump, it's what the slump looks like and how the team is handling it that matters to me. The Caps as coached cannot figure out how to beat a clogging, defense first system. This slump looks like the Habs series and games against Atlanta. If BB stays behind the bench, the Thrashers will win the SE and the Caps will lose in the first round, if they make the playoffs. The team has tuned out BB. Time for a change, now.

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS2 | December 12, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

2008: Pens fired their Coach in Dec. and won the CUP.

2009: Flyers fired their Coach in Dec and made it to the Finals.

Posted by: 555Mass | December 12, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Trade Semin, trade Ovi, Green/Schultz suck, our rookies are weak, Ted blah, Bruce blah.

Yawn.

Looking forward to watching the Caps on a Sunday night.

Posted by: Fro_2 | December 12, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

The truth is that that Capitals gambled with the personnel moves to go younger or trades and are paying the price of change in the early part of the season. The truth is that they may not win the Cup this year but will be even better off contending every season there after. The truth is that Ovie, Green and Backstrom are all slumping at the same time while Semin is just having a Semin consistent year (although Semin is getting better being an all around player). The truth is that this team needs to play with the effort and urgency similar to last night every night and they will be alright. Just make the playoffs and go from there. Regular season does not mean a thing for this team. That is the truth.

Posted by: JohnWWW | December 12, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

@themightyzep2000 - Feel free. For every one of you, there are ten people waiting to get tickets. You haven't been to a single game this season? In that case, you surely won't be missed.

@icehammer - Obviously, BB should hold practice at Rockerfeller Center. No MSG is no excuse. /sarcasm

Posted by: sabredc | December 12, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

@555mass

now go look up all the other teams thos years that fired a coach mid season and see how they did...you can't jut nit pick stats that support your point and ignore others.


The Caps are struggling...this is probably not our year for the cup, but then again this is not the year for the cp for 29 teams...

Last season there were stretches of us playing like crap where we won anyway...we have more than enough time to learn now, and it is easier to learn when you are losing than when u r winning.

Ovie looked better in that game, we outplayed the Avs...let's build off that! every loss doesn't mean we played horribly, just like every win doesn't mean we were awesome. We'll get back on track.

Posted by: capscoach | December 12, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

What's Gabby's record in the playoffs?
1-3 (series)
We all know it's all about the playoffs.
Gabby's system obviously DOES NOT work when it counts! or against "lesser opponents"
So, Caps stick with the same old "Run 'N Gun" systems, it'll be same old results in April "Another Early Exit out of the playoffs"
"Another long summer to ponder what could have been"

Posted by: 555Mass | December 12, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Wake up dude. I won't be renewing my season tickets.

Posted by: themightyzep2000 | December 12, 2010 2:43 AM

How did I miss this?!

This is the funniest thing I've read all weekend.

McPhee and Bruce are definitely getting fired now that you've threatened to not renew your tickets. Mission accomplished!

Posted by: Fro_2 | December 12, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

lets look at the BB situation logically...there are 30 NHL teams...one wins the SC...BB has been an NHL coach for 3.5 seasons. He has made the playoffs every year so far. We have 2 first round losses in 7 games and 1 2nd round loss in 7 games. This is A LOT better than most NHL coaches making their start. His first two seasons we were not real contenders. His 2nd season we lost in the 2nd round in 7 games to the eventual SC champs...thats nothing to be ashamed of. We had a real upset last season...lots of teams have them. Things are not that bad when you put them in perspective.

Posted by: capscoach | December 12, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

@themightyzep2000

is this guy completely out of his mind and doesn't understand how tickets sell? I have season tickets as well, the reason your tickets aren't selling is because the people that used to buy tickets from us at "face value" are now season ticket holders themselves. They did the math and realized that if they attend 15 games or so at face value for a few more dollars they get all the games. It has nothing to do with the product on the ice. So now we have 2 to 3 times more season ticket holders. Then these people aren't interested in making a lot of money so they are selling their tickets for what they paid, so instead of "face value" they are selling the tickets for the season ticket holders discounted price... So to sum up, I think you need to relax a little and calm yourself. I was also thinking of not renewing my tickets, but then i realized, oh wait, we are still one of the best teams in the league, grow the f up.

Posted by: nhl2011 | December 12, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Is anyone else annoyed at the "It's all your fault" chant? When the Caps scored that second goal last night and were still down a goal, a bunch of people did the chant. I know the opponent fans don't give it a second thought or know/care what it means, but it made me feel embarrassed to be a Caps fan.

It's similar to when the Redskins are down 20 points and make a tackle and then start dancing on the sideline. You're still losing you morons.

Posted by: LloydChristmas | December 12, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

@lloyd

I don't mind the "it's all your fault" chant, but I HATE and I mean HATE the "who cares" after the other team scores! I mean...I care, and you should to.

Posted by: capscoach | December 12, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

@lloydchristmas

I completely agree, I also don't like the "who cares" chant, just think its pathetic.

The one other thing that bothers me is when the PA guy says "save by" in a shootout when the guy misses the net completely.

Posted by: nhl2011 | December 12, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Possible BREAKING NEWS:

The Bears are playing in Charlotte NC this afternoon, but Andrew Gordon tweeted half an hour ago "Just landed in New York!!". Is callup because of a Semin suspension or more illness in the lockerroom? Either way, Good Luck Gordo!

Posted by: tess2201 | December 12, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

The effort was a lot better in the 2nd half of that game than it's been in a long time. To me it looked like Poti was out of position a lot. Don't know if he and Hannan weren't communicating well, but on Colorado's 2nd goal I don't know why he was trying to cover someone Hannan was already on and left the whole other side of the ice open. Ovechkin actually resembled himself for a bit in that game. I expect they'll have a good game against the Rangers.

Posted by: Stu_c | December 12, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Agree with ya'll about the "Who cares!" chant too. I might be wrong, but I seemed like the "it's all your fault" chant didn't occur until the Caps scored 4 goals or more. That was ok by me because it was under a certain circumstance. Now that chant is said after every goal. It's just asinine, especially when you're losing. Just thought I'd bring it up today, it's something that isn't mentioned much on this site and last night it annoyed me so I thought I'd vent here. Thanks for listening (reading). :)

Posted by: LloydChristmas | December 12, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

The final score last night wasn't important. The effort and style of play was important. Last night was winning hockey. I don't even have a problem with Semin whacking the crap out of somebody and giving up a 5 min major. We had the top 2 d-men out and 2 more slowed by the flu. If (big if) they play the same type of game tonight, the losing streak should be over. If the Caps play like this and get some people back (trade for a 2C sure wouldn't hurt) everything will be okay. I guess I've had my Kool-Aid for the morning.

Posted by: chriscaps | December 12, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

@tess2201

So now Gordon can play on the second line -- with Perreault. At least that twosome has chemistry!

Wouldn't be surprised if there's more illness. They were saying that Semin would NOT be suspended, last I heard but I could be wrong.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | December 12, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

There are bad losses, and there are good losses. THIS WAS A GOOD LOSS. I saw a Caps team playing with some urgency, sticking up for each other, and BB making some subtle changes behind the bench that bode well for us IF GMGM DOESN'T PULL THE PLUG ON HIM.

Ovi, Hendricks, Erskine, and Bradley led the way physically, and even Alzner recorded a hit. (WHAT'S UP WITH NOT HITTING ANYONE, CARLSON? 2nd STRAIGHT GAME...) The team supported each other in the scrums, and all-in-all the effort can't be faulted. If not for Neuvy letting in a weak first goal, we would've left the building with at least 1 pt, if not two.

As for BB's subtle changes, I'M GLAD SOMEONE SEEEMS TO BE READING MY POSTS. First, it was nice seeing someone STAND DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF THE GOALIE ON THE PP. Though it wasn't DJK as I hoped, Fehr/Hendricks/Laich all made concerted efforts to camp out there. The result? Hendricks rewarded w/a goal and the the 0-for drought snapped. Secondly, it was appropriate for BB to reward Fahey's play w/some pp time late in the game. He played a heck of a game and if BB gives him a legit look and he brings it like that consistently, HE'LL DESERVE TO BE ERSKINE'S REGULAR PARTNER.

SPEAKING OF #4: in game #2 on the ****55 watch, Lumberjack turned in yet another outstanding game, and he/Fahey WERE THE BEST DEFENSIVE PAIRING ON THE ICE last night. Ersk's stats: 4 hits, 1 blocked shot, +1, no goals scored against, 2:30 worth of pk time.......Poti/Hannan/Carlson/Alzner COMBINED: 2 hits, 5 blocked shots, -4, Carlson/Hannan victimized on the pk. POTI, HANNAN, CARLSON WERE THE WORST DMEN ON THE TEAM LAST NIGHT.

(game #1: Ersk 7 hits, 3 blocked shots, 15 mins, only even (+/-), best dman on team.....rest of backline combined? 8 hits, 8 blocked shots, -5 and Carlson/Alzner by far the worst.)

The watch is continuing SO I DON'T HAVE TO KEEP JUSTIFYING #4'S WORTH TO THE TEAM when ****55 is healthy.

The team and BB showed me something last night that I haven't seen in a long time, and that gives me hope. NOW IF HE'LL ONLY PUT DJK IN, TURN HIM LOOSE, AND LETS START ROLLING!!

GO CAPS, KICK RAG A@@

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 12, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Hendricks was definitely ill last night - you could tell from his congested sounding voice in the between periods interview, the lower side of is nose was red, etc. But the man had one hellaceous game. Makes you wonder what Chimera would be with Hendricks heart.

Posted by: zmega | December 12, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who saw the speed of the Avs would recognize that there is absolutely no way that King could have played last night.

Posted by: zmega | December 12, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I hope Steckel gets waived today. He just can't help us. Both he and Boyd are 4th centers, neither is a 3rd. Gordon has him beat.

We need a win tonight.

Posted by: underpants2 | December 12, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

GO CAPS, KICK RAG A@@


Posted by: vermontcaps


Ok. my superstitions are taking over...have you always done this? Cause I have only noticed this since our losing streak....I realize I am possibly/probaly certifiable with this comment.

Posted by: capscoach | December 12, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

This team looks like a rebuilding team. Guys like Fehr, Bradley, Erskine, Steckel, Gordon, are all Matt Pettinger-like. If they leave the Caps they'll likely battle for 3rd-4th line minutes somewhere before they fizzle out.

Posted by: chrisclarksucks | December 12, 2010 3:07 AM | Report abuse

Keep #4 off your list,Erskine is showing that HE'S THE CONSUMATE 4-6 DMAN....READ MY POSTS, YOU'LL BE MORE INFORMED (i'll give you the other names, though EVERY TEAM needs a guy like Brads....nice job showing up and trying to spark the team/building when down 3-1, once again taking on a bigger/better fighter.....McLeod, not DJK, is a joke of an enforcer)

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 12, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who saw the speed of the Avs would recognize that there is absolutely no way that King could have played last night.

Posted by: zmega | December 12, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Colorado has always had speed, and DJK certainly didn't have any problems playing them when he was in St. Louis.....GET OVER IT FANS AND LET'S STOP ALWAYS TRYING TO MATCH-UP AGAINST OTHER TEAMS. Conversely, they didn't have anyone in the game who'd be able to stand-up to DJK if he was creating headaches for them. WHY DON'T WE TRY TO EXPLOIT THAT ADVANTAGE AND CHALLENGE TEAMS TO MATCH US???

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 12, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

@the mighty zep - you might be the biggest moron to ever post on this blog. Congrats - that says alot. please cancel your tickets asap.

@vermont caps - DJK on the power play? Are you kidding me? This guy shouldn't even be in the nhl. He plays 5 minutes a game and occasionally fights the other teams goon in a pre determined wwe style fight. great for hockey.

Posted by: capsfansince74 | December 12, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Trade Semin, trade Ovi, Green/Schultz suck, our rookies are weak, Ted blah, Bruce blah.

Yawn.

Looking forward to watching the Caps on a Sunday night.

Posted by: Fro_2
-----------

LOL!! I can't believe it, word for word what I wanted to post.

Posted by: hock1 | December 12, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

We need this slump. I think it can make things better. Every cocky punk needs to be punched in the mouth at some point. The team style will be more than likely improved because of it.

Posted by: Dizruption | December 12, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Semin gets off lightly and just gets fined for the cross check last night. However with Andrew Gordon being called up, my guess is Semin will be a healthy scratch or that Brooks Laich is sick and cant go. Laich looked awfully slow last night.

Posted by: ThePat | December 12, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Vermont, King has played more than 30 games in a season once in his NHL career. Where do you get these ideas? Jeez, I wish you would get back on your meds. Your rants are really getting old.

Posted by: zmega | December 12, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

@icehammer - your reading of the CBA re: junior players is correct, as is your line that " If not I think it is actually possible to call up Eakin. As for if he should be called up there is a BIG difference between juniors and the NHL so him getting 100 goals in juniors is not that big of an indicator of if he will do well in the NHL" this is very true, we only need look at E Fehr [among others] to see how meaningless stat-padding in a mid-tier junior league can be.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | December 12, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

@capsfan74
@zmega

do you disagree with me that someone NEEDS to be camped in the crease on the pp??? If nobody else is going to do it, then why not him?? Because you haven't been able to figure it out yet, I GUESS I'LL HAVE TO TELL YOU: my calls for DJK on the pp aren't in anyway advocating for his "touch" around the net; my pleas ARE AN INDICTMENT OF THOSE ON THE PP DOING NOTHING!!

Posted by: vermontcaps | December 12, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Laich looked awfully slow last night.
------------

As opposed to....

Just kidding, I like BL - but I also think he typifies GMGM's overvaluing of certain players. As I've said before - and taken heat for - Laich is potentially a very good 3rd-liner, but he is simply not a top-6 fwd on a team with aspirations of going deep in the playoffs. Sorry.

Posted by: Timbo_1 | December 12, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Bob McKenzie from TSN is saying Semin is being fined, not suspended. Andrew Grodon appears to have been recalled from Hershey as he said on Twitter that he flew to NewYork this morning.

Posted by: NovaCath1 | December 12, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I know GMGM's backers were all over our pickup for the vaunted Scott Hannan for Flash - anybody know our record since that deal?

I read time and again this summer here and on Japers, etc. how great things would work out, if we could just get rid of Flash, so guys like E Fehr could get their deserved top-6 time and time on the PP; and I'm just curious how's that working out for us, so far?

Posted by: Timbo_1 | December 12, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Gordon is leading the AHL in scoring and is TSN's top ranked forward in the AHL. My understanding is that he will go to the front of the net. I don't know what more the guy could do to earn a chance.

Last night, lots of guys mixed it up in front of the net, led by Hendricks. I even saw Perreault in there a couple of times, risking his life. The only one who seemed to shy away from that and had a reasonable chance at being successful was Chimera.

Actually, Vermont, I wouldn't be opposed to giving King a chance in front of the net on the power play in a game that is a blow-out (either way), just to see what he could do. He would certainly be able to create some chaos. I thought they should have given Brashear a similar chance when he was here. It would not doubt get the goalie's attention.

Posted by: zmega | December 12, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

BTW, I had a great view of Semin's cross-check from my seat at last night's game. I guess you could say that if you are going to retaliate, you may as well get your money's worth. He certainly did that.

Posted by: zmega | December 12, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Did the Caps post anything about A. Gordon getting called up? I haven't seen anything about it. I'm glad to see him get rewarded for great play in the AHL. Hopefully, he will does great. Maybe, he sticks and Sloan heads to Hershey when he gets off IR.

Posted by: chriscaps | December 12, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

@chriscaps

No they havent released anything. He posted on twitter that he landed in NYC. I assume he was told to fly up bc of guys with the flu. And they will use the emergency recall option for him if they plan to play him. Sloan will not be going back to Hershey with Schultz out for a month. When Schultz returns than I yes I think Sloan is sent down.

Posted by: ThePat | December 12, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Andrew Gordon's tweets are a study in character. His quickness around the net which got him 50 goals last year in the regular and post season combined and now leading the AHL this year with 16 goals will get him a regular job in the NHL somewhere soon. My favorite tweet of his was when he chose to take only $50 to the casino up by Hershey and wisely left his wallet in the car. Good luck tonight Andrew.

Posted by: dull | December 12, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

it's kinda pathetic that the caps showing "a lot of work ethic" is a story.... they show be showing lots of work ethic every game.. not just after a 4 game slide.

Posted by: rachel216 | December 12, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

@ThePat

The smart thing to do would be to move Semin to the top line (where he could be the cross checking enforcer, as it were) and play MP and Gordon as a 2nd offensive unit. Those two clicked in Hershey, maybe they'll poach a goal or two tonight.

@vermontcaps

perhaps what we need are two Caps teams. One for the roller derby and one for ice hockey. I'll be rooting for the team that scratches DJK, he's fairly useless. The caps were last in the league in fighting last year - by a long shot - and were - by far - the best team in the league and with the best power play. Fighting - or not fighting - had nothing at all to do with why they lost to Montreal. Someone make a coherent argument that it did without throwing in some spiritual intangibles...

Posted by: RedLitYogi | December 12, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

@vermontcaps...I agree with you all the way man, don't let your critics get you down.

Posted by: capper3 | December 12, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I was just thinking that once Sloan gets back, Fahey could keep the pressbox warm and Sloan could go down to Hershey for "conditioning".

Posted by: chriscaps | December 12, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

If King was in the lineup last night he would have silenced his critics by pummeling McLeod. Now after being scratched several games he will likely be in the lineup tonight. If so he will be facing the leagues biggest and most feared fighter. So I can see more King bashing on the way, unless he knocks Boogaard out cold.

As a player I would rather play the Caps with DJK scratched. My team could control the momentum and physicality, plus we could take cheap shots as much as we wanted. I'm sorry but those who don't realize the importance of DJK's presence really don't fully understand the game.

Posted by: FLDave | December 12, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I don't participate in the "who cares" thing (or the "all your fault"), but I understand the principle to be that you're POd that the other team scored but that you don't care which of the other team's players got the goal (i.e., regardless of who it was, it was unacceptable). I'm neither justifying or defending it--just stating what I believe to be the theory some of those people use.

I'm pleased to see that for once Katie Carrera hasn't argued that the Caps have a five-game losing streak. The NHL very clearly says it's a two-game losing streak: http://www.nhl.com/ice/standings.htm?type=con#&navid=nav-stn-conf Five-game WINLESS streak, absolutely. I'd really like an answer as to whether it's the Post editors insisting on the "losing streak" terminology on this one. I know in the newspaper industry the stylebook is God even when it's completely wrong.

Posted by: 1995hoo | December 12, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

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